An Overview of the “IDEA Show”
By Susan Stansbury, Industry Consultant
It is no wonder that Wisconsin was well represented at the Idea Show in Miami March 28-30. The show highlights manufacturing in the nonwovens fabrics and associated industries. With Wisconsin being a major center of nonwovens and related products, plus equipment and supportive services, the show was a standout for the Wisconsin exhibitors.
With a total of more than 300 exhibitors, Wisconsin represented an impressive array of companies. Some of these I visited in Miami with headquarters or factories in Wisconsin included:
- 5K Fibres, Neenah WI
- Campbell Wrapper / Circle Packaging, DePere WI
- Converted Products, Milwaukee WI
- Curt G. Joa, Sheboygan Falls WI
- Kleen Test Products, Sheboygan WI
- Optima Packaging, Green Bay WI
- Paper Converting Machine, Green Bay WI
- Rebel Converting, Milwaukee WI
- Sellars Nonwovens, Milwaukee WI
- Suominen Nonwovens, Ashwaubenon WI
- Valley Grinding & Manufacturing, Green Bay WI
These companies make products such as wet wipes in configurations from baby wipes to cosmetic makeup removers. Others including Campbell Wrapper/Circle Packaging, Curt Joa (celebrating 90 years), Optima Packaging and Paper Converting Machine make equipment for manufacturers.
5K Fibres produces rolls of nonwovens used in masks with their valued filtering layer. Another supplier of nonwovens fabrics for wipes and similar uses is Suominen, with its Ashwaubenon factory (headquartered in Finland).
Converted Products converts roll goods with its precision slitting and winding and related processes to prepare rolls for further manufacturing. Kleen Test Products produces many brand name products for its contract partners, including wet wipes, dryer sheets, cosmetic pads and more. Sellars Nonwovens is “the power behind your brand” as manufacturer of substrates for absorbent, automotive, medical, packaging, tabletop, wipes and more.
Rebel Converting represents just one interesting story about these companies. With capacity to convert 2.1 billion square yards annually into wipes, Rebel Converting is a force in the coreless roll/canister wipes business. As a contract manufacturer, Rebel is partnering with its customers across retail, healthcare, and business-to-business segments—to maximize the opportunities that exist in today’s market.
Another standout is 5K Fibres with its unique technologies to reduce the amount of fabric and associated fibres needed to make a number of hygiene and related products. 5K Fibres can eliminate the need to use the number of layers usual for certain fabric media formerly added for strength. “With the inherent strength of the 5K nonwovens,” says CEO Douglas Brown, “we are focused on our core technology and some new patents around what we trademarked as the name ‘Spun-Blown®’ where we can make very strong fibers. “I determined that we would be able to make a fabric all in one layer. This potentially reduces processing and fabric costs.”
Many of these and other Wisconsin converting manufacturers work together supplying each other the fabric and paper rolls, the equipment, and supplies to make products that make their way to retail, medical, automotive and other national outlets.